It was the first weekend in February, and I was moving out of my one-bedroom apartment and into a new one with a friend. I woke up late, had on a snowboarding t-shirt, pigtails with a do-rag, and no make up.
When he showed up to help me move, I wasn’t packed. Yes, that’s right. I had planned a moving day, a few people came to help, and I wasn’t packed yet. It was just a tiny apartment, after all, so how much could there be? I’d pack as we went, was my theory.
I noticed his eyes first. They were a beautiful, rich blue, and full of joy, really. I sort of got distracted by his eyes. Then I noticed how darn funny he was. I was pleasantly surprised all day at how much I laughed.
He was cute, had beautiful eyes and made me laugh. But I was determined not to notice anything else. After all, I had wasted countless hours having a crush on someone from the singles group at church, and was fed up with my motivation being wrapped up in a boy. I wasn’t going to let it happen again.
So I skipped church the following day on purpose. But I thought about him. The next time I saw him was at a mid-week service, and I just couldn’t help noticing other things. His smile, his joy, his worship. After the service a group of us went out to eat, and I don’t know what everyone else talked about…it was as if he and I were the only ones in the room. The attraction was palpable.
And I was very, very angry about it.
I had been in such a beautiful relationship with the Lord…He and I had come through some rough (very rough) places and I was enjoying being alone with Him. I drove home from the restaurant crying hot, angry tears and yelling out loud to God:
“I don’t want this! I don’t want to like anyone! I don’t want my motivations to be centered around a guy! I’m not ready for this! I haven’t PAID MY PENANCE for my recent pit, so why is he here right now????”
And I spent the next few days being angry and praying.
And then God spoke to my heart:
“He’s a gift to you. You don’t have to accept it. But you’re the only one beating up yourself for the past. I’ve forgiven you. I’ve extended grace to you. I can choose to bless you how and WHEN I want to. What you do with it is up to you.”
So I relented and accepted.
The following Sunday, he came up to me after service and asked if I “you know…wanted to…you know…hang out sometime. Nothing crazy…maybe coffee or something…just…you know…hang out.”
I nodded and eloquently mumbled, “uh huh.”
He called me that afternoon and we had dinner that night. At dinner he told me he had sort of been stalking me at church well before he showed up to help me move. Had been praying about me specifically. He was surprised when I answered the door that moving day, because he didn’t know who he was showing up to help that moving day.
And I didn’t think that was creepy.
So we became a couple.
Just 12 months later, on this very day nine years ago, we vowed to stick together through it all, to endure and love and cherish each other regardless. We vowed that come what may, we’d love each other until our dying day. (Yep…the duet from “Moulin Rouge” was one of the songs at the wedding.)
These nine years have gone by in a flash, yet it feels like we’ve been together forever. Not in a bad way, but in a I-can’t-remember-what-life-was-like-before-you way. Like we’ve just always been. We’ve been through sun and rain and even a tornado or two…but we’ve been through it together, side-by-side.
I’ll never be fully convinced God didn’t make a mistake, forgetting I really don’t deserve what He’s given me. But I’m not foolish enough to give him back.
He’s mine now.
Forever and always, amen.